Hands On Bridge Building

Overview of the Project

The integration of math and science requires innovative techniques to encourage students to learn. This activity will allow the students to browse and search for information required to complete their project. The bridge will be designed and built by the students out of inexpensive materials such as toothpicks, tape and glue It will require the students to do a cost analysis of their project and to conceptualize how their completed project will look before having built it. The toothpick bridge can be a fun and challenging activity.

1. Vocabulary  2.  Math Worksheet 3.  Math Quiz 4. Science Discussion Questions  5.  Contest Rules  
6.  Materials 7. Build Your Bridge  8.  Testing: Bridge Breaking Activity 9. Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Vocabulary

Define each word:

SCIENCE

1. truss

2. pier

3. trestle

4. cable

5. caisson

MATH

1. acute angle

2. angle

3. congruent

4. diagonal

5. edge

6. obtuse angle

7. parallel lines

8. parallelogram

9. perpendicular line

10. polygon

11. quadrilateral

12. right angle

13. straight angle

14. trapezoid

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    2. Math Vocabulary Worksheet

    Use a ruler, protractor, and compass to complete the following to demonstrate an understanding of your vocabulary. You must complete five of the following six examples.

    1) Construct two congruent angles. Label the angles as obtuse, acute,


    or right.

     

     

     

     

    2) Construct a parallelograms and a trapezoid. Label all the edges and


    the parallel lines.

     

     

     

     

    3) Construct a polygon and a rectangle that is not also a parallelogram


    or a trapezoid.

     

     

     

     

    4) Construct a rectangle. Label the perpendicular lines. Insert the


    rectangle’s diagonals as dotted lines.

     

     

     

     

    5) Construct a triangle that has one obtuse angle. Label each angle


    as an obtuse, acute, or right angle.

     

     

     

     

    6) Construct a straight angle.

     

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    3. Math Quiz

    Complete.

    1) A _____ angle has a measure of ninety degrees or less.

    a) acute

    b) obtuse

    c) straight

    d) right

    e) left

    2) The polygon that has four sides and one pair of parallel lines is called a _________

    a) parallelogram

    b) rhombus

    c) trapezoid

    d) square

    3) Congruent figure must have

    a) same size

    b) same shape

    c) different sizes

    d) different shapes

    e) both a &b

    f) both c & d

    4) An obtuse angle has a measure of

    a) less than ninety degrees

    b) 90 degrees

    c) more than ninety degrees

    d) 180 degrees

    e) 360 degrees

    5) The straight line that is formed where two faces of a polyhedron meet is called a(n)

    a) edge

    b) diagonal

    c) perpendicular line

    d) parallel line

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    4.  SCIENCE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

    Define the following engineering principles as they apply to bridges and give an example in nature.

    1.BEAM
    a.

    b.

    2.ARCH

    a.

    b.

    3.SUSPENSION

    a.

    b.

    4.CANTILEVER

    a.

    b.

    5.PONTOON

    a.

    b.

     

    Answer the following as completely as possible:

    6.WHAT DID EARLY CIVILIZATIONS USE FOR BRIDGES?

    7.WHAT WERE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF COVERED

    BRIDGES?

    8.WHY WERE BRIDGES (AND TUNNELS) IMPORTANT TO RAILROADS?

    9.WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MATERIALS USED IN BRIDGE

    CONSTRUCTION?

    10.WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH IRON BRIDGES?

    11.NAME AND LOCATE THE FIRST STEEL BRIDGE IN THE WORLD.

     

    12.WHAT CAUSED THE TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE TO COLLAPSE?

    13.NAME AND LOCATE 4 FAMOUS BRIDGES IN THE UNITED STATES...IN THE

    WORLD?

    14.IDENTIFY SOME BOOKS, SONGS, OR MOVIES THAT HAVE BRIDGE IN THE

    TITLE

    15.WHEN DID CONSTRUCTION BEGIN ON THE 4-LANE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY

    SYSTEM?

     

    16.COMPARED TO BRIDGES, WHAT ADVANTAGES DO FERRY BOATS HAVE?

    (VICE-VERSA)

    a.

    b.

     

    17.BRIDGES HELP TO TRANSPORT A VARIETY OF THINGS. NAME AS MANY AS

    YOU CAN:

     

     

    18.LOCATE AND IDENTIFY AS MANY BRIDGES AS YOU CAN IN YOUR

    COMMUNITY...TOWN...CITY...STATE: Three Types, 4 bridges

     

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    5.  Contest Rules

    Divide yourselves into groups of four. Having researched bridge

    design, you must now design and build a bridge to meet the following

    criteria:

     

    Instructions:

        1. cut a piece of cardboard so it is 35 cm long and 15 cm wide.

        2.  Draw a 15 cm "river" in the middle of the cardboard.

        3. Draw a 4 cm by 4 cm hole in the middle of the river.

        4.  Draw  two 5 cm squares on the cardboard, as shown.

        5.  Design and build a truss bridge using the toothpicks and glue.  The actual design of the bridge is up         to you, but your finished bridge must meet the following specifications:

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     6.  Materials

    You must draw, to scale, your completed design onto graph paper. Then, you need to use the information that your completed designs provides and develop a projected cost and materials needed estimation. Follow this design "to the letter" and build your bridge from the following materials:

    Toothpicks - $100.00 per toothpick

    Elmer's Glue - $25,000 per bottle

    Land (cardboard) - $500,000.00

    Marker pen - $50.00

    Clothespin - $50.00

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    7.  Build your bridge. Remember, you must:

    1. Use your blueprint.

    2. Use only the materials provided (toothpicks, Elmer's glue).

    3. Use only those materials accounted for in your budget.

     

     

    Starting Construction

     

    1. Start the construction with the outer support pieces.

     

     

     

    Glue sticks together making a beam long enough to cross the river from one support to the other. Use only enough glue as needed. A drop per connection is all that is needed. Use the clothes pins to hold the wood together until the glue sets (5 minutes). It takes hours for it to dry completely, so work gently after removing clothes pins.

     

    HINT: The more clothes pins you have to work with the faster the progress. Feel free to bring in clothes pins from home as the teacher has a limited supply.

     

         

     

     

    2.. Carefully, continue to add pieces to the front of your bridge. Remember, that the sticks should be placed exactly as shown on your plans.

             

     

     

     

    3.. When the front is completely finished, add to the top. If you were careful to keep the the front pieces equal the top will be much easier.

     

               

     

     

     



     

     

    4. Finally, add to the sides of the bridge. Glue this section good, since this is the part of your bridge that will keep the back and forth shifting from breaking the bridge.
             


    HINT: Building the bridge will take several days and could get tiresome without breaks. It is suggested you take breaks.

     

     

     

    To view a step by step construction click on this website:

    http://cl.k12.md.us/bridges/bsteps.htm

     

     

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    Bridge Over Cardboard Water Testing

    8.  Testing : Bridge Breaking Activity

           Once bridge construction ends, testing begins. We will attach a string to a container so it hangs without tipping .  You will poke a string up through the hole in the middle of the cardboard.  We will use a pencil to hang the container from the bridge.  We will gently add weight to the container.

        How much weight will your bridge take before it breaks under the load?  Once your bridge has broken we will add the contents of the container and the pencil.  Which bridge will hold the must weight?  Will it be yours?
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    9. Links

    Bridges Websites

    Bridge Design Tips for Kids

    Bridge Game
    Bridge Truss Designs
    Bridges : Video
    Building Big Bridges
    Nova On-line Resources:  Bridges
    Super Bridge:  Build a Bridge
    The Truss Bridge
     
    The Toothpick Bridge
     
    The Toothpick Bridge Building Contest
    Toothpick Bridge Breaking (5th grade)
    Toothpick Bridge Breaking  (high school)
    Toothpick Bridges - Model Designs
    Truss Bridges: Wikipedia
     
    Video: Nova On-line "Super Bridge"
     

     

     
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